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HD Report | April 23, 2017

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Microsoft Can’t Save Xbox by Themselves

Microsoft Can’t Save Xbox by Themselves
Matthew Byrd

Xbox

Recently, an Xbox fan took to Twitter to ask Head of Xbox Phil Spencer whether or not Microsoft is going to make any good exclusives for Xbox One. Spencer’s response to the question was professional and encouraging.

“I feel very good about this year,” he said. “Should have more 1P games than last year, great diversity + launching new IP.  Good year.”

Even though Microsoft only released a few first party games last year meaning that it wouldn’t be too hard for them to surpass their meager 2016 output in 2017, the response was still comforting.

There’s really just one problem. Microsoft isn’t in a position to save the Xbox this year by themselves.

When I say “save the Xbox”, I don’t mean from bankruptcy or complete failure. I mean that Microsoft can’t save the Xbox from the onslaught of Nintendo and Sony exclusives that are about to flood the marketplace. We’re already seeing it from Sony’s end. NiohResident Evil 7 VR, Gravity Rush 2, and Yakuza 0 are already game of the year contenders and it’s not even March yet. As for Nintendo, they’ve got an entirely new console with a plethora of exclusives coming out in a few weeks alongside a Zelda game that looks like the most promising entry into the franchise in years.

Comparatively, Microsoft’s likely lineup is a bit of a question mark. At present, the major Xbox exclusives are looking like Halo Wars 2, Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, and Forza 7. That’s not bad, but it’s missing a true heavy hitter. Halo Wars 2 is a bit of a niche title, Sea of Thieves has yet to really blow anyone away, and games like State of Decay 2 and Forza 7 are going to have to be pretty impressive to really sell systems. As for Crackdown 3, its development process has been littered with red flags.

It feels like what Phil Spencer really wanted to say is, “We know that we’ve had some third-party setbacks, but we’re confident that people will buy an Xbox for our games.” There’d be no denying that first part. The ugly and sudden cancellation of Scalebound coupled with Microsoft’s inability to secure more third-party exclusives has left them with a bit of an empty war chest at the moment. The arsenal they do have is all coming from one source and is loaded with potential duds.

There’s only one company that’s been able to move systems based largely on the strength of their first party offerings, and Nintendo is still trying to find a way to continue doing that. Microsoft hasn’t proven that they have the ability to deliver that quality of content by themselves and it would take a superhuman turnaround for their situation to change.

Microsoft’s situation isn’t dire. They can still make their mark with Project Scorpio and a few surprise hits. Still, the future of Xbox is too heavy for them to lift on their own.

Comments

  1. crazy_black_man-

    What PC money? They’re not selling games on the Windows store. People are waiting for failed Xbox exclusives to come to Steam. And you know what? They’re coming. All these things will forced them to stop making Xbox hardware sooner than later. Pretty soon Play Anywhere will end and those games will all be PC games. Or better yet, Xbox games will be ported to the PS4, PS5, etc. Xbox is done after Scorpio. Wake up people.

  2. Showan W

    There is something so called gaming journalists just cant comprehend. That is Microsoft is a “play the long haul type of company”.

    You so call “gaming journalist” are so bemt and stuck on the here and now. Microsoft looks years down the road when making decisions. Which overall ecosystem you think is the safe bet even 2-3yrs from now? Its Microsoft’s of course.

    • crazy_black_man-

      Showan, let it go. Its over. Its done. He’s right. The Xbox console brand is in its last days. It was a good run but it had to end sime time. They should have built the “Xbox 360 Pro” instead of the Xbox One. But that wasn’t the beginning of the end for Xbox alone. They made many mistakes beyond that. It’s over. Let it go. Just hope Scorpio turns out well for we both know that it’s the last Xbox.

      • The gamer 101

        > we both know that it’s the last Xbox<
        'we' know nothing of the sort. Care to share your future reading crystal ball so I can look up next weeks lottery numbers? lol
        Fear can do strange things to the mind like blurt out lies and wild guesses.
        Fear of the Scorpio.

  3. TheMan

    So you list Nioh, Gravity Rush 2 and Yakuza and then Forza 7, Halo Wars 2, Crackdown 3, Sea Of Thieves and State Of Decay 2 and say Halo Wars is niche? Halo Wars 1 sold over 5 million copies, and I’d consider Gravity Rush, Yakuza and Nioh far more niche.

    Xbox doesn’t need saving, and we’re right around the corner from E3. If the PS4 got its sales lead from better running multiplats, the Scorpio can do the same thing.

    • crazy_black_man-

      No. Better exclusives. More exclusives. The PS4 just got another AAA exclusive. “Nioh”.

      The Xbox One just got a mobile game.

  4. hvd2222

    who said they need saving they are doing better then they were with the 360 at this point.they are doing fine.pc money is just a bonus.

  5. Kevin

    Let’s wait till E3. Phil has to take orders from the higher-ups. We have a new CEO who is hell bent on making Xbox a service. Microsoft has two horses in the race.. Windows and Xbox. I have no problem with that but why should we pay for Xbox Live while the PC gamers get everything and they don’t have to pay?

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